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Best Practices for Attracting and Engaging International Audiences

Published: 20 Mar 2024

The International Tourism Opportunity:

It was predicted that by 2025 the UK tourism industry would be worth over £257 billion, but the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic had other ideas, putting worldwide travel to a stop, resulting in a decline of 73% in visitors to the UK and 78% in tourist spending in 2020.

However, things are definitely looking up as, according to a Visit Britain report, last year the inbound visits to the UK reached an estimated 37.5 million, equating to 92% of the 2019 pre-pandemic numbers with visits predicted to grow a further 5% this year.

And with inbound tourism comes inbound visitor spending, predicted to reach £34.1 billion this year.  So, what changes can you make to take advantage of this growing international demographic?

A simple, but effective, way of maximising your venue’s appeal to overseas visitors is to introduce international language tours. Providing stories in your visitor’s native language will immediately open up your attraction to a global audience and ultimately help increase ticket sales.

However, before you unleash Google Translate on your existing guidebook, we’re here with some advice!


Without a doubt, visitors are more likely to engage with the narratives and retain information when it is presented in their native tongue, however authenticity is of paramount importance.

Idioms, colloquialisms and cultural references can be tricky to translate without understanding the underlying cultural context, whilst incorrect grammatical nuances or sentence structure can affect the natural flow of the narration. This is likely to receive pretty mediocre feedback and few recommendations!

This is why, here at ATS, we use native speakers at every stage when producing content, whether it’s for multimedia guides, audio guides, apps or even website welcome videos. Our translations are written by a native speaker, voiced by a native speaker and finally tested by a native speaker, providing a guaranteed accurate interpretation with authentic tone and delivery in every recording.


Traditional paper leaflets can take up valuable space on a welcome desk or foyer area but when you’re looking to offer multiple language options you may need to consider purchasing additional display stands, which can be unsightly.

Then there’s the recurring expenses associated with updating and reprinting leaflets and the environmental impact of paper production and waste. All of which go against eco-friendly practices and the growing global emphasis on sustainability.

This is why more and more visitor attractions, museums and cultural and heritage sites are moving over to digital alternatives which can be updated with new content at the push of a button.

Why Go Digital?:

Digital guides such as apps, multimedia guides and audio tours, bring a far more dynamic approach to storytelling for all visitors, going beyond the restriction of 2D paper trails.

You can start small by simply including a QR code alongside your existing printed exhibit labels to turn them into a digital multilingual version at the touch of a button. This will also allow the information to be more accessible to visitors with hearing impairments (e.g. the QR code links to a BSL video) resulting in immediate inclusivity without taking up valuable exhibition space!

Beautifully produced audio tours or multimedia content, where visitors can access high-quality images, audio clips and videos, will enhance their understanding and appreciation of the exhibits and will elevate their experience of your venue.

We also suggest using language neutral content e.g. animations, diagrams or infographics as they require minimal edits to translate and are a powerful and flexible way to tell stories across languages.

It’s important to make sure that your visitors (and your staff!) can easily choose from the language options you provide.   We can create an easy to use interface incorporating language flags, icons or drop-down menus that allows for easy navigation, regardless of how many languages you would like to include.

Combien de langues devriez-vous proposer? (How many languages should you provide?)

With a well-designed digital interface there really is no limit to the number of languages you can provide – one of our Scottish attraction clients offers over 30 languages for their audio guide – making it one of the most translated tours in the world!

When it comes to choosing languages to provide, you will have a good idea from your current demographic. In our experience, the most popular are: French, German, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese (as well as British Sign Language). However, with East Asian countries predicted to become the 4th most valuable inbound visitor market in 2024, you might want to also consider Mandarin, Japanese and Korean. Our wide network of native speaks cover all of these countries, and more, and we also have regional dialects such as Gaelic too.

Tailored Language Content

You may also want to consider adapting your translations if your site has stories that are unique to certain nationalities, and we can certainly help with tailoring your scripts to each country. The personalisation of international languages enriches the visitor experience, allowing individuals to focus on aspects that resonate with them the most.

Once you have your international offering ready you need to make sure global audiences know about it! Be sure to promote this service on your website, social media, adverts and onsite displays. We can help with an international welcome video for your website which can be edited into short clips for your social media platforms as well as advising on specific social media strategies for attracting international tourists. Finally, make sure all of your visitors, regardless of nationality, are sharing their experiences on review websites such as TripAdvisor as well as on your own website.

So, whether your visitors are exploring the historic beauty of your stately home, marvelling at the ancient artefacts in your museum or gazing in wonder at artwork in your gallery, let your digital guides become cultural ambassadors, providing information in their native language, and ensuring they can immerse themselves in the stories and heritage around them.

This is not merely about communication; it’s about creating a universal language of cultural appreciation and understanding, making your attractions accessible and inviting to everyone.

Great storytelling (and a flair for the creative!) is at the heart of what we do and the expert teams at ATS can advise on the best way to bring your story to life, in whichever languages you choose. So get in touch for a chat!

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